Montreal is a vibrant and cultural city sitting on the spiritual border between French Canada and English Canada, mixing a bit of both to create a true melting pot of Canada’s essence. While Montreal isn’t Canada’s largest city, it certainly has a flavour that sets it apart from Toronto and Vancouver, making for a unique experience for travellers. I spoke with FlightHub, an online travel agency based in Montreal, to get their read on the top five things to see in Montreal.
The Old Port
Flanked by cobblestone streets, century old buildings, and all kinds of shops, restaurants, and cafes, The Old Port is the first stop for anyone looking to get their history on according to FlightHub’s review. Zigzag your way through The Old Port’s alleys and streets, checking out shops and vendors as you go. Enough of the store scene? The Old Port is located on the waterfront, opening up to boardwalks and food trucks along the St Lawrence River. In addition, you can visit Montreal’s Science Centre, and other small museums littered throughout the area.
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For the cool kids on vacation, The Plateau is hipster central in Montreal. Lined with streets of vintage shops and cafes, The Plateau is also filled with parks. Perhaps its best park, Parc Lafontaine, is a massive green space ripe for fun no matter the season. This is especially true in the Winter, when Parc Lafontaine turns into one of the best places to go skating. Between it’s natural bodies of water and constructed rinks, you will have no problem finding room to get some skating in.
Montreal’s Olympic Park takes you back to the 1970’s when Montreal was the host of the 1976 Summer Olympics. The park, which is home to Montreal’s very uniquely designed Olympic Stadium, the Biodome, and other Olympic facilities. After the Olympics the stadium became the home of the MLB’s Montreal Expos until their untimely departure in 2005, but Montreal’s baseball love-in continues with yearly exhibition games featuring the MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays.
There is no better place to be on a Saturday night in Montreal than at the Bell Centre to see the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens play. Hockey is an institution in Canada generally, but few Canadian cities can rival the passion of the Montreal Canadiens rabid fan base. The rink is right downtown, giving you quick access to the surrounding bars and restaurants for when the game lets out.
Places like NDG, Saint Henri, and the Mile-End have plenty to offer. Montreal is a unique city in the sense that each neighbourhood feels very diverse. It’s like going to a different town, all within the city limits of Montreal.